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Stock Futures Slide Before 3rd-quarter GDP Report

The Dow Jones industrial average has fallen 0.2 percent this week, but is up 3 percent for the month.

The Fed wraps up its meeting Wednesday. It is expected to announce the bond buying program then.

A day before the Fed completes its meeting, voters will head to the polls for the midterm elections. Traders have been betting that Republicans will at least take control of the House of Representatives, which could slow government action.

Analysts say uncertainty over tax issues and potential costs from health care and financial regulation reform bills have been major reasons employers have been hesitant to start hiring new workers. The results of the election should provide more clarity about those questions.

With so many people unsure about their jobs, they have cut back on their spending, which accounts for the biggest piece of the nation's economy. Spending won't likely pick up in a meaningful way until employers start ramping up hiring.

Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 29, or 0.3 percent, to 11,020. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 4.40, or 0.4 percent, to 1,174.90, while Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 6.75, or 0.3 percent, to 2,119.00.

Bond prices traded in a tight range. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, was unchanged at 2.66 percent compared with late Thursday.

In corporate news, Microsoft Corp. shares rose in pre-opening trading after the computer software maker said its profit jumped because businesses increased their spending on technology.

Businesses have been quicker to spend coming out of the recession on new technology to improve efficiencies than spend to hire new workers. It has helped many companies beat earnings expectations in recent quarters even though for many U.S. sales remain weak.

Microsoft's shares rose 72 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $27.00.

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